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Life in the heart of France
5th October 2012
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Lacanau Océan Voyage
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In the whole summer we've only had a short trip to La Rochelle in the way of a holiday. Now, I know we're on a permanent holiday (sort of), but we both love to see the sea, so we think we deserve a weekend on the coast.

So we chose a stretch of the Atlantic coast that we've never seen before, west of Bordeaux. There's a 250km length of coastline, from the mouth of the Gironde near Royan in the north down to Biarritz near the Spanish border, an almost continuous wide sandy beach backed by dunes and dense pine forest. Only the bay of Arcachon interrupts this long straight beach. There are two long freshwater lakes just a few kilometres inland and it was the smaller one, the Lac de Lacanau that we aimed for.

We booked two nights in a spa hotel - www.Vitalparc.com - at a bargain 30% discount throughwww.booking.com  and although it wasn't exactly 'a short walk' to the resort of Lacanau Océan, it was only a few minutes by car.   The hotel was pretty good, the room clean, bed comfortable, shower good, and it had an outdoor pool (closed after September... why?) an indoor pool (warm and too full of people, and they made us buy and wear stupid caps) a Jacuzzi (also warm and full of people) and a steam room (too full of people to even get through the door).   This experience reminds me why I didn't enjoy membership of a posh, overpriced private gym in the UK and astonishes me that I paid for one for so long. 
 
The seaside town of Lacanau Océan is fab;   large enough to have many restaurants, cafés and little shops, but not as big and intimidating as Les Sables d'Olonne, for example.    Being October, only about half the businesses were open and it gave a distinctly out-of-season atmosphere to the place, but I've heard it's unbelievably busy in July and August, so this suits us better.
 
The very best part though, is the beach.   And the sea.  And those big, crashing, long Atlantic waves rolling in constantly, bringing wet-suited surfers by the dozen and a fair few beach bunnies like us.   
My clever little camera takes panoramic pictures by taking 3 shots and joining them together.  But the screen's so scratched in bright sunshine you can't see a thing when trying to line up pics 2 and 3, and it couldn't line this one up quite right.  Still, you get the idea..